Common Cold News

The common cold accounts for more doctor visits than any other health condition, and chances are that you’ve probably had one yourself, maybe even recently. Considering that more than 200 different viruses can cause a cold, it’s no surprise that the condition is so prevalent. The most common virus that causes colds is the rhinovirus.

The common cold is rarely a serious medical condition. It’s usually characterized by a runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, body aches and watery eyes. More often than not, it subsides within a few days or a week, although some children, elderly people and those in poor health might find that their colds last a bit longer.

It’s important to note, however, that some symptoms that at first appear to be related to a common cold may actually be related to a more serious condition. That’s why you should see a doctor if you have a fever above 100.4 degrees F., if the cold symptoms last longer than 10 days, if over-the-counter medicines provide no relief or if you begin to experience any other unusual or alarming symptoms.

Treating the Common Cold

Because a cold is caused by a viral infection, antibiotics will do little to treat the condition. Rather, most colds just need to be waited out. You can speed your recovery by resting, drinking plenty of water and staying warm. It’s also advisable to try some over-the-counter medications to aid the specific cold symptoms that are bothering you.

A cold is almost always passed from person to person, so the best approach to preventing that is to avoid contact with others who may have a cold. Frequent hand washing also is helpful, and it’s a good practice to avoid touching your nose and eyes so that you don’t spread a cold virus that you may have picked up.

SOURCES: American Lung Association; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Date Posted
Article Title
Treating the Common Cold

Over-the-counter cold medications: Do any of them really work?

Safe Dosages of Acetaminophen

Many cold/flu sufferers seeking relief are taking too much acetaminophen, study finds.

Treating the Cough of the Common Cold

Does anything help get rid of a cough from the common cold?

When a Cold or Flu Strikes a Family Member

How to keep everyone else healthy

Kids' Colds Linked to Asthma, Lung Problems Later

But research is too early to confirm a cause-and-effect link

White Kids More Likely to Get Unneeded Antibiotics

Study finds more evidence of racial disparities in ERs

What Diabetics Need to Know About Over-the-Counter Meds

Many cold, cough and headache remedies contain carbs, and as much alcohol as glass of beer or wine, pharmacist says

High-Dose Vitamin D May Not Curb Kids' Colds

Study seems to dispel a common myth around the daily supplement, researchers say

When a Divorce Turns Bitter, Kids' Immune Systems May Pay a Price

More evidence that family stress in childhood might affect lifelong health

Health Tip: Get More Sleep if You Have a Cold

Suggestions to help ease the misery

Heart Attack Risk Spikes After Respiratory Infection, Study Finds

Even the common cold was linked to a 13-fold increased risk for about a week

Some Surprising Sources of Germs

You probably use these items every day

A Lonely Heart Could Worsen a Cold

People who feel isolated tend to have worse symptoms, research shows

Common Cold Can Be Dangerous After Bone Marrow Transplant

Rhinovirus far more worrisome in those with weakened immune systems, researchers say

The Etiquette of Achoo!

Cover your sneeze to protect those around you, health experts advise

Is It a Cold or the Flu? Here's How to Tell

Symptoms can be similar, but flu hits faster, is more likely to lead to complications

Health Tip: When a Child Is Sick

Signs you should see a doctor

Why Being Cold Might Foster a Cold

Healthy body temperature boosts ability of immune system to fight the virus, researchers say

Colds and Sleep

Looks like getting the right amount of sleep helps fight off colds and infections, new study concludes.

A Sneeze May Be Even Ickier Than You Thought

Slow-motion photos reveal a 'sheet' of expelled fluid that then breaks apart, researchers say

Study Ties School Calendar to Asthma Flare-Ups

After summer or long break, symptoms spike when kids return to the classroom

No Antibiotics for Common Respiratory Infections: Experts

Physicians' group and CDC jointly advise that the drugs not be prescribed for colds, bronchitis in adults

It's OK to Snuggle Your Pet When You're Sick, Doc Says

Dogs, cats can't catch your cold or flu, and aren't likely to transmit viruses

Health Tip: Treating Your Child's Cold

Suggestions to help ease symptoms

Try Home Remedies for Child's Cough or Cold

Over-the-counter treatments are riskier and costlier, says American Academy of Pediatrics

Maybe You Can Forecast Your Health Better Than a Doctor

Results of self-rating study predicted which participants would catch a cold

How to Have a Healthy Holiday Season

Expert offers tips on ways to avoid catching colds, the flu

Ah-Choo! Sneeze 'Cloud' Quickly Covers a Room, Study Finds

Videos of sneezers show droplets are of varying sizes, move at high velocity

When Antibiotics Are Needed

'Get Smart' tips from an expert to prevent their overuse

Certain Antibiotic Might Combat Children's Wheezing Episodes

Kids given azithromycin were less likely to develop severe respiratory illness, study says

Prepare Yourself for Cold, Flu Season

Doctor offers tips on avoiding infection, battling illness if it strikes

Colds, Flu Up Odds for Stroke in Kids, Though Risk Is Low: Study

Researchers also found children who had all of their vaccinations were less vulnerable

Too Little Sleep May Quadruple Your Risk for Colds: Study

Fewer than six hours a night linked to higher rate of illness, researchers say

Viruses Increasingly Behind Child Pneumonia Cases

Bug that causes common cold, other infections often to blame, study finds

FDA Shares Advice to Avoid Colds and Flu

Influenza virus is spread by sneezing, talking and touching contaminated surfaces